May 04, 2017

UN and Kerala government partner to set up technology innovation lab

BYPankaj Mishra

The Kerala Government and the UN Office of Information and Communication Technology will join hands to set up the country’s first UN Technology Innovation Lab here, it was announced on Wednesday.
The Kerala Startup Mission will spearhead the initiative on behalf of the Kerala government. The state government has identified water, sanitation, mobility and agriculture as the areas best suited for the centre, as it would not only address the needs of the state, but also can be a collaboration lever with other UN member states experiencing similar issues, said an official.
Startups in the state will work closely with the innovation lab to build products addressing these issues.
To take this forward, an ideation workshop was jointly organised by Kerala Startup Mission and United Nations Technology Innovations Labs (UNTIL) in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday in which top officials of the state government and the UN took part.
The proposed centre will be a UN technology project led by the Office of Information and Communication Technology and staffed with members from both the technology and substantive programme areas of the UN.
“Water and sanitation is today one of the state’s biggest concerns and we are involved in as many initiatives to resolve this. This association with the United Nations will bring to us right project interventions, global technology, expertise, network through which startups and companies in Kerala can work on a sustainable solution, meaningful development and deployment for these pressing concerns which may also become a solution for other countries or regions as well,” said state IT Secretary Sivasankar.
Kerala Startup Mission CEO Saji Gopinath opined that this initiative is a great opportunity for startups in Kerala to get involved in creating pathbreaking technologies that can address and resolve real-life concerns of common people.

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.